Hiking in the woods


The Brandywine creek lay still, tired after bearing the brunt of previous night’s downpour. The rain had turned the mud soft, on which our walking sticks sank, like candles on a cake. Every time we pushed a shrub out of the way, it sprayed drops of cool water on us. We didn’t mind; we continued walking on the steep slopes of the Rocky Run Trail in Brandywine Creek State Park, with no end in sight. Rows and rows of tall trees held hands to form a sort of tunnel, through which only slivers of sunlight managed to reach the ground. Loose rocks and coiled roots lay everywhere, and from between them emerged excited toads and calm centipedes. Small flying bugs hovered around our faces, fighting for our attention, even as we tried to balance ourselves on shapeless stones, to cross to the other side of a flowing stream. Three miles and two hours later, we walked out of the woods, on to the neat paved roads. It was easier to walk now… but we missed our little toads and centipedes already.

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